Social Media

ARe you ready for the next tech revolution?

By Elettra Cantore, Intern at Acceleris

Once again, technology is proving to be an essential tool for modern business.

Snapchat recently launched a new set of augmented reality (AR) features designed to encourage users to buy products directly from its app. This was among the first instances of AR being commercialised for a mass consumer audience.

AR is transforming the online shopping experience. Unlike virtual reality (VR), which creates a fully artificial world, AR integrates computer-generated information on a user’s environment in real time, thus providing a composite view. In other words, with AR, you can experience just about anything you can imagine, but in the real world.

Thanks to Apple (ARKit) and Google (ARCore), which have facilitated this change by embedding AR software into their systems, the retail, beauty and fashion industries have begun an evolution.

One of the first companies utilising this innovation has been Ikea. In collaboration with Apple, Ikea allows you to visualise how products would look, feel and fit in your home. With a scale of 98% accuracy, it provides true-to-life representations of the texture, fabric, lighting, and shadows that could make their way into your home.

Retailers have been experimenting with virtual try-ons for years; especially in the fashion industry, where tech-savvy retailers rule the roost. The first brand which launched the Dressing Room App was GAP, letting shoppers ‘try on’ clothes with no need to physically enter a store. All it needs is your height and weight and the app will develop a virtual 3D model, ready to be dressed up as you like. If you then like the way garments look on the model, the app enables you to buy products directly.

The innovation of AR is a refreshing addition to the social media and retail markets and one which brands should start taking advantage of. In Snapchat’s case, a foray into virtual reality (VR) tech proved unprofitable with only 0.08% of Snapchat users purchasing a pair of its VR goggles according to TechCrunch. AR however makes sense for Snapchat and many retailers. Without the need to invest in hardware, ecommerce companies and B2B businesses alike can facilitate a more frictionless shopping/sales process by pushing their products to consumers in new and exciting ways.

All of this is great for consumer marketing campaigns, but does it have the same implication for B2B campaigns too? The answer in short, is yes!

The tech enables a more streamlined sales process. It provides brands with alternative ways to reach audiences, whether it’s used for events, demos, training or presenting services, solutions and products.

Just like consumers, business needs to know if a product or service ‘suits’ them. AR gives brands the opportunity to let its customers ‘try things before you buy’, whether it’s equipment for the office, demonstrations of service processes to see how they work in the ‘real world’ or tour of venues for possible events. AR has just as much, if not more, relevance in a corporate environment.

Of course, AR shouldn’t be seen or treated as a standalone activity. It is not just the latest fad but nor is it a silver bullet that will fix everything in one shot. In order for it to be really successful, and deliver maximum returns, it must be part of fully integrated campaigns that provide the same user experiences throughout the customer journey.

We’re working on a number of AR campaigns for our clients which will allow them to provide greater levels of engagement for their customers. It will allow them to experience the product or services before they buy, therefore making sure they make the right purchase for their needs.

At Acceleris, we create integrated communications strategies for all our clients. If you want to have a chat about how we can use AR to really help your business … or if it’s actually just ‘reality’ you want from your communications, we do that too! Get in touch…

 

The Power of Social Media

Joe Sanderson – intern at Acceleris

The world we live in is a mediatised one. Don’t know what this means? Don’t worry, it’s basically a posh academic way of saying that media, in all its various forms, affects our lives on a daily basis. In the same way as talk of the Brexit divorce bill or Meghan Markle (both equally important, obviously), we can’t get away from it.

From the moment you wake up in the morning and check what your friends are eating for breakfast on Instagram, to your bleary-eyed scrolling through endless cat memes to cheer yourself up at the end of a long day. From your morning paper to your Radio 2 fix on the way to work. From keeping in touch on your family iMessage group, to keeping abreast of your professional network on LinkedIn. From Twitter to Tumblr. Tinder to Pinterest. There’s no denying, media is everywhere.

This inescapable dominion of media over our society is indicative of the fact that we love to communicate. It’s a natural human instinct. We like company and we like talking to each other, and gone are the days when we had to get out of bed to do so. Media and communication are subtly and inherently intertwined with our lives, probably even in ways we can’t imagine and we’re not aware of.

The key driver of this gargantuan explosion of media in the modern age is a development that, despite seeming to have been around forever, is relatively new in terms of media history – social media. In days gone by, communicating to the masses required a fancy accent and a job with BBC or The Times. Now we can all do it, whenever we want, wherever we are. Everyone has a voice.

How you use that voice is up to you, and everybody is different, as shown by the top retweeted tweets of 2017. It could be to try your luck at getting free chicken nuggets, like Carter Wilkerson, whose tweet tops the list.

Source: @carterjwm

However, where one sees free chicken, another sees a marketing and PR opportunity, and Wendy’s response is a perfect example of making social media work for your business. Companies can now communicate with their customers more easily than ever before and, as in the case of Wendy’s, can even create PR and marketing campaigns for free (below).

Source: @Wendys

Social Media can be a powerful tool for your business. Particular success has been seen in the third sector, with charity initiatives consistently gaining momentum on sites like Facebook and Twitter. For example, Andy Johnson’s, @LucidWhim’s and PC Dave Wise’s tweets raised vital awareness for mental health, breast cancer and police suicides, as well as generous donations for the relevant charities. They sit at number 5, 9 and 7 in the 2017’s top 10.

Source: AndyJohnson08

Source: @LucidWhim

Source: @CopThatCooks

Even humorous messages from celebrities like Jeremy Clarkson or Peter Crouch have the benefit, of boosting their personal brand and popularity. Jeremy’s dab and Peter’s family catch-up tweets placed 6th and 8th respectively.

Source: @JeremyClarkson

Source: @petercrouch

Source: @BarackObama

In the case of politicians, the personal branding opportunities that social media allows are a powerful campaigning tool, as seen in the recent US and UK elections, with all candidates being extremely active on Twitter. Barack Obama is one politician who has expertly used social media to create a positive personal brand and his tweet in August about race equality was 4th in the top 10.

If you’d like to view the full list of 10 top retweeted tweets, please visit http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/revealed-most-retweeted-posts-2017-11640862.

Further, if you would like more information on how to harness the power of social media for you and your business, please contact Acceleris on 0845 4567 251.

Which retailers are #winning Christmas?

Dan Stead – Senior Digital Account Executive

Christmas is coming!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the retailers selling and everyone telling you get on the beer. Yes, it truly is the happiest season of all and it seems to get earlier each year. The start of November ushers in a frantic scramble for retailers to hide away the Halloween horrors and to deck the shelves with boughs of holly (and the latest must have goods).

Yet we only truly know Christmas is coming when we see that first TV department store advert. We all have our opinions on which is the best, and there are many other blogs which will have their say, but which is actually performing the best for the retailers themselves?

The John Lewis ad is arguably the most eagerly awaited all year and it’s seen as the seminal moment for festive feelings to fall upon us. With the BBC reporting record Christmas ad spends for 2017 with a staggering £6bn spent by brands in 2017, everyone has upped their game to get a slice of the (mince) pie.

But ad big budgets aren’t enough! Even if John Lewis has hired an Oscar winning director, Elbow and thrown £7m at its Christmas crusade. Every festive campaign hitting our screens this year needs to incorporate a sound digital strategy as well as a captivating and often emotional Christmas message. We’ve looked at four of the nation’s largest department stores to see which campaign is delivering the best results so far.

Before we dive straight in, you can view all the ads discussed here:

12 Graphs of Christmas

Google       

Processing over 40,000 search queries per second, Google is obviously the best place to start. When comparing searches for the four department stores it’s clear one comes out on top. And it’s no coincidence there is a spike in traffic after Moz the Monster was born on 10 November. John Lewis jingles all the way to the top of Google rankings based on its Christmas campaign this year.

Frequency of search terms of the big four retailer since 1 November

Social media shouting match

With most Christmas ads now appearing on everything from billboards to buses and TV to Twitter, it’s interesting to look at which retailer is making the most noise online.

YouTube

It’s all well and good shelling out millions for TV ad space but which brands are making the most of the free, online opportunities? YouTube is the obvious place to start and there are two clear frontrunners for the festive ad crown this year. John Lewis leads the way with over 8,000,000 views and Marks and Spencer is keeping close with almost 6,000,000 of its own. Debenhams has clocked up over 1,000,000 views while House of Fraser is languishing in fourth place with a measly 60,000 views.

Twitter

We all know that one platform is not enough however and brands need to be producing engaging content across a range of channels. Twitter tells us more.

John Lewis

 

 John Lewis has attempted to generate interest through the creation of two hashtags for its campaign this year #MozTheMonster and #UnderTheBed. With almost 1,500 posts reaching an audience of nearly 11,000,000 since the 1 November alone, it’s clear the campaign is not just working on TV.

While there have been some mixed reactions to its ‘under the bed’ theme with many citing scared children as one concern, John Lewis’ loveable monster Moz has proved more popular with over 70% of people reacting positively to him.

Source: @KieranRhys Twitter

Debenhams

Debenhams has aimed to create an empowering Christmas message in 2017, #YouShall. The retailer has recruited added firepower this year with the Hollywood A-lister Ewan McGregor drafted in as its celebrity influencer to boost brand awareness through a fairy tale cameo with a modern social media twist. With almost 2,000,000 people reached so far and almost two thirds reacting positively, Debenhams is doing well.

 

Source: @Gail_AT Twitter

House of Fraser

House of Fraser’s Christmas campaign for 2017 takes a trip down memory lane and aims to evoke feelings of nostalgia with its hope to #BringMerryBack. However, with only 58 posts utilising the hashtag in over two weeks (and how many of these are employees?) it hasn’t done as well as the others. With just over half of posts having a positive sentiment, House of Fraser will have hoped for more.

 

Source: @sara00012345 Twitter

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer, last but not least, has teamed up with ‘the nation’s favourite marmalade lover’ to make us #LoveTheBear enough to visit its stores or website. A clever campaigning building upon the star’s readymade fanbase to influence our Christmas spending. It’s clearly resonated with many, achieving an online reach of nearly 4,000,000 people already! However, it seems not everyone is a fan of poor old Paddington with just half of users reacting positively to his glad tidings.

 

Source: @FactDeJour Twitter

 

And the #winner is…

So there is a clear winner as to which retailer’s Christmas ad is performing best.

  1. John Lewis

Unsurprisingly the John Lewis ad has become THE Christmas event of the year after consistent production of engaging and emotional content both on screen and online. This year, driving traffic and searches online has clearly worked and it sold out of the portable LED night light featured in the ad in mere minutes! Well played #MozTheMonster – gold medal performance.

  1. Marks and Spencer

Silver goes to Marks and Spencer’s #LoveTheBear campaign. A creative ad featuring the friendliest, furry legend from fiction, Paddington Bear. Although not all reactions online have been positive, views and searches have shot through the store roof. All publicity is good publicity, right?

  1. Debenhams

It was a close race but the bronze medal goes to Debenhams for its’ #YouShall campaign to have a Cinderella inspired, fairy tale Christmas. This campaign has had a positive reaction online so comes out on top if it’s quality leads you’re after. However, as the ad has been viewed less than its rivals, it just hasn’t created that same buzz as the big spenders.

  1. House of Fraser

Last but not least, it’s House of Fraser’s #BringMerryBack. A nice idea to add a sprinkling of nostalgia to its campaign this year but with only around 500,000 people reached by the campaign so far, it looks like it’ll be playing catch-up for the festive run in.

Although the big four department stores have been the focus here, it’s unforgiveable to examine retailers’ Christmas campaigns without paying homage to the nation’s most heroic carrot. Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is back with a bang this year and it’s another example of how retailers are maximising revenue over the festive period through championing a brand mascot. Such is the demand for Kevin and his love interest Katie, Aldi has had to restrict sales to two per customer this year!

Lessons to be learned

So the lesson is, don’t just rely on one platform. It’s not just retailers that can capitalise on Christmas this year through creating as many opportunities to expose consumers to their brand as possible. TV ads and video content should be posted on dedicated web pages, YouTube channels, Twitter accounts and we haven’t even touched upon Facebook or LinkedIn etc.

But don’t just take our word for it – have your say on which retailer’s Christmas ad is best via our Twitter poll here.

And although there’s still a month until the day itself, all that’s left from Acceleris is to wish all of our clients, suppliers and partners a very merry Christmas!

All data featured in this blog has been obtained between 1-17 November through research conducted by Acceleris’ Digital Insights division which tracks trends and monitors online behaviour to stay ahead of the curve, and to help inform client PR campaigns. Find out more about our specialist retail team here.

An Intern’s Insight into Acceleris

Hania Thompson, Intern at Acceleris

From The Pool to the Board Room – an Intern’s Insight

Work two jobs, it will be easy! That is what I told myself as I woke up at 5am to lifeguard for two hours before embarking on a two week internship at Acceleris. As I power walked up the Ripon Road that morning I nervously kept thinking about what I was going to be doing and what will everyone be like? However, as I walked into the foyer, over the quaint wooden bridge and up the winding stairs into the reception area I was quickly put at ease.

After being warmly greeted and given a brief tour I was promptly introduced to my ‘buddy’ Katie who quickly made sure I was put to work right away. There is nothing worse than starting somewhere new and not knowing what you are doing or supposed to be doing; however, I am pleased to say that this was not the case – thanks to my buddy. My first task was to read through the Yorkshire Post and pick out relevant stories and at 10:30 I felt very important as I attended my first meeting in the board room (thankfully I wasn’t fired!).

After graduating from Northumbria University in 2015 with a degree in Sport Management, the one question which many graduates ask is ‘shall I take a gap year?’ My answer to this was yes. After a ski season in the Swiss Alps, working in the USA and travelling around Western Australia I finally decided to ‘settle down’ and think about my future.

I had been interested in the marketing and PR side of my degree, which led me to exploring this area further – although I wasn’t entirely sure what this would involve. I was fortunate enough to be offered an internship after hearing about Acceleris from a friend – and the rest is history!

The last two weeks spent at Acceleris have flown by – the old saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ comes to mind! I was given a variety of tasks which ranged from designing social media graphics for various events and clients, writing press releases, blog writing, researching potential clients and constructing (many) spreadsheets.

My favourite job was designing social media graphics for different clients. I thoroughly enjoyed being creative and imaginative throughout the process. The last two weeks have really given me a flavour of what it is like to work in the world of PR. To make the experience even better I was made to feel welcomed and valued from the moment I stepped through the door and I could tell that the staff at Acceleris are an incredibly hard working and dedicate team.

At the end of my time here I found that PR is not so dissimilar from being a lifeguard after all. You complete all the training needed for your role; however, when you’re thrown in at the deep end on your first day, you never truly know how you’re going to react until the situation presents itself – whether this is trying to save someone’s life or handling a crisis on social media! As I impart my knowledge onto the next intern, the most important thing to say is to fling yourself into it, learn as much as you can whilst you have the chance and say yes to everything!

To see more on the opportunities Acceleris has for students and graduates, read about the Acceleris Academy here.

Heroes and Zeros: managing your brand reputation

Nadia Ahmed who joined Acceleris on work experience

Nadia Ahmed, who joined Acceleris on work experience

Even as someone new to the world of PR, I can recognise the impact PR campaigns can have, whether for better or for worse.

During my two weeks of work experience at Acceleris I have learnt the significance of brands protecting their reputations. There have been lots of examples in the media recently where brands have triumphed in marketing themselves and some at the opposite end of the scale.

Here we take a look at some examples which have sparked criticism from the not-so-adoring public, as well as the championing of some brands for their success.

 

 

Neither hopeful nor glorious festival

Hope and Glory PR Disaster Liverpool

The ironically named ‘Hope and Glory Festival’ in Liverpool was cancelled in early August, just as acts were ready to go on stage. The worst part however, is that it was cancelled with one disastrous tweet simply saying, ‘No festival today’. Overcrowding at the 12,500 capacity St George’s Quarter led to the event being scrapped, with thousands of ticket holders left disappointed. Day-ticket holders lost out on both a highly anticipated festival and £55, while those who had bought a weekend ticket and paid out £89 were left confused and angry.

Although some posts on the Facebook page pointed the blame at the production manager, who was even named and shamed, the PR company behind the event were ultimately responsible for dealing with all the publicity and social media for the event. The agency continued to point the blame at anyone but themselves, and the director added fuel to the fire of public outrage when he bungled his interview on talkRadio and only offered to refund the one ticket to a listener who called in. In such a modern, technology dependent era, PR disasters like this spread like wildfire and can easily destroy a company’s reputation. There is no doubt that this event was a disaster and the PR company have been placed at the centre of it.

 

Social media Mum 1, V&A Museum nil

A breastfeeding mum took to social media after she was asked to ‘cover up’ when she accidentally flashed her nipple whilst breastfeeding at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kensington. However, the mother did not passively accept this disapproval, and she took to Twitter to express her outrage.

Using her Twitter account the mother tweeted: “Flashed a nanosecond of nipple while #breastfeeding and was asked to cover up in @V_and_A courtyard. Am perplexed…” Then continued with, “On the upside, I had a lovely day at the V&A exploring depictions of breasts through the ages and making lovely mammaries. I mean memories”. Ironically, the incident occurred within World Breastfeeding Week, which works to dispel the sense of disapproval some women feel while breastfeeding in public. Using hashtags such as #normalisebreastfeeding , #empoweredbirthproject and #breastisbest.

The V&A’s director apologised after the tweet went viral, saying “@vaguechera V sorry. Our policy is clear: women may breastfeed wherever they like, wherever they feel comfortable & shld not be disturbed.”

Easy access to social media allows people to share perceived injustices and also allowed the V&A to publicly apologise. Ultimately, it all ended well.

 

Swede dreams

In a glorious attempt to boost tourism, the organisation Visit Sweden has listed the entire country on Airbnb to try and appeal to young travellers. The Swedish tourist board is trying to encourage and educate people in the concept of Allesmansrätten, or ‘the freedom to roam’.

Allesmansrätten refers to the general public’s right to camp, hike, explore and use the country’s natural resources at will. The campaign boasts that, “Sweden has no Eiffel Towers. No Niagara Falls or Big Bens. Not even a little Sphinx. Sweden has something else- the freedom to roam. This is our monument” conveying that Sweden’s natural landscape is the jewel in its crown and a great reason to visit. The weirdly wonderful campaign promotes the country’s own unique offerings and the Airbnb stunt helped them gain publicity and drive traffic to both Visit Sweden’s and Airbnb’s websites.Visit Sweden Listed on Airbnb

Visit Sweden Listed on Airbnb

Heroes and zeros awards

Each of these events gained recognition across various media channels and one in particular reignited the discussion on the issue of breastfeeding in public. It is becoming increasingly clear how crucial the effectiveness and speed of responses from companies is, in order to prevent the destruction of a certain brand.

For a successful PR campaign which is current, unique and exciting, Visit Sweden has to win my hero award.

As the biggest failure, the Hope and Glory Festival PR catastrophe is doubtlessly the winner of my zero award. Hopefully the lesson of ‘not cancelling a huge event with a three word tweet’ has been learnt.

Here at Acceleris we have a vested interest in the reputations of our clients. We believe it’s not what you say that defines you. It’s what you do and how you do it that creates your reputation. What we do is protect and promote the brands of our clients. To find out more about our work for other clients, take a look at: http://www.acceleris-mc.com/pr-portfolio-case-studies.html

Top Tips: How To Avoid A Social Media #Fail

Katie Wadsworth Senior Account Executive Acceleris

Katie Wadsworth, Senior Account Executive

All too often companies are worried about ‘looking boring’, or being overshadowed in their sectors, but this doesn’t mean you should necessarily jump on the latest trend or shoehorn your product into whatever hashtag is currently circling the internet. You don’t want to be forgotten about, but it’s important that you get noticed for the right reasons.

From the Kendall Jenner Pepsi debacle, to Crocs tweeting about David Bowie’s passing, the internet is full of examples of how brands can humiliate themselves, or worse, with just one ill-advised post.

 

1. Beware the hashtag

#nowthatchersdead

A clever hashtag can be a great way to encourage consumers to engage with your brand or share memories, thoughts or even suggestions, but you need to be careful about your choice of wording. Hashtags don’t have any spaces, which can lead to miscommunication or inappropriate interpretations.

Following the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, people began using #nowthatchersdead – a lack of capitalisation and with no room for spaces meant that many people thought pop icon Cher had died – leading to lots of confusion online. While this wasn’t connected to one brand, it shows how careful you have to be – there are also several not safe for work examples we could have used to show just how things can go wrong…

While there are pitfalls to creating your own tag, it’s equally important that you’re careful if you’re going to use someone else’s. Check the context! While the Thatcher/Cher dilemma left people confused, sticking your brand messaging onto a hashtag without researching it can cause offence and damage to your reputation.

Frozen pizza brand DiGiorno made a fundamental blunder back in 2014 when it failed to look into #WhyIStayed before putting out a ‘witty’ tweet.

DiGiorno Pizza Tweet

The tag was in fact being used by domestic violence survivors and campaigners to raise awareness. While the brand did not intend to cause offence, within minutes it had been inundated with comments from those who were outraged by the tweet. DiGiorno swiftly removed the post and issued personal apologies to everyone who tweeted them, but the damage was already done. Even three years later, a simple Google of the brand’s name brings up news stories about the debacle – it was a hard lesson to learn, but they will certainly be doing their homework before jumping on any hashtags in the future.

 

2. Be sensitive to your surroundings

Kendall Jenner Pepsi advert

What seems like a good idea in a creative meeting may rapidly fall apart when put in the real world. The news agenda is constantly changing so be careful that you read the room properly before issuing your advert.

Pepsi fell foul of a poorly thought out advert which showed Kendall Jenner stepping away from a modelling shoot to join a protest, she then passes a police officer a Pepsi and he smiles. The advert was widely criticised as it appeared to trivialise social justice demonstrations taking place in America at the time, suggesting that a fizzy drink could help restore peace between protesters and the authorities.

Unsurprisingly, many took to social media to express their outrage, with prominent figures satirising the video including Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr who tweeted:

Bernice King Pepsi Tweet

The advert was eventually removed from YouTube and Pepsi was forced to issue a statement saying: “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologise. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue.”

 

3. Make sure your activity is ‘on-brand’

David Bowie Crocs Tweet

Practical shoe brand Crocs decided to tweet about the sad passing of David Bowie in 2016.

While in itself this isn’t a bad thing, the decision to use a croc with a lightening bulb across it – echoing the lightning bolt painted over the face of Bowie’s alter-ego Ziggy Stardust – caused an immediate reaction on social media.

Although this act didn’t cause an angry backlash like Kendall and Pepsi, it did lead to a lot of people poking fun at the brand, long after the tweet was removed from Crocs’ social channels.

A number of brands paid tribute to Bowie, however their messaging and choice of imagery was more appropriate.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a brand sharing memories of a beloved celebrity who has passed away – perhaps the person who controls the Crocs social media account was a big Bowie fan and meant well by the message – but the choice of image suggested that Crocs was trying to capitalise on the popularity of the tag. So even if you’re trying to be respectful, ask yourself, should we be commenting on this? If the answer is yes, make sure you really think about what you’re going to post so you don’t become a laughing stock.

One brand who did manage to walk the line between topical posts and sensitivity is American car manufacturer Chevrolet who put out this tweet following the death of beloved singer Prince.

 

chevrolet little red corvett Prince tweet

The reason this post was embraced by social media is because the brand had a genuine link to the singer and is the maker of the ‘little red corvette’, the title of one of Prince’s most well-known songs. The post is also simple, classy and respectful.

If you’re stuck for ideas, don’t worry, that’s our job! We’ve got lots of experience creating award-winning campaigns for clients in various sectors and we’ll make sure your brand reputation keeps growing and everything works smoothly. Take a look at our work for other clients to see what we can do: http://www.acceleris-mc.com/pr-portfolio-case-studies.html

At Acceleris we do a lot of work on issues and reputation management for clients in a variety of sectors and our focus is always on championing your reputation, because ultimately it is the thing which makes or breaks you.

 

Brand Ethics: Is It All Just A Waste Of Time?

Emily Atkinson, who joined Acceleris for a work experience placement

Emily Atkinson, who joined Acceleris for a work experience placement

Did you know that 300,000 tonnes of clothing was sent to landfill sites in the UK last year; seven million coffee cups are disposed of each day, and by 2050, the ocean is set to contain more plastic than fish? In a recent article from The Guardian, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation expressed its concern over the perennial question: ‘Who will halt this tidal wave of waste?’

 

Indeed, each year sees an increase in the number of UK and worldwide businesses that are prepared to jump onto the eco-friendly band wagon with the aim of attaining a brand image that evokes transparency, sustainability and ethical behaviour. To mention only a few; Coca-Cola, Tesco, H&M, and Stella McCartney are all companies which, in the last couple of years, have made a significant attempt to refresh their reputation by working towards a more renewable world.

 

Businesses are recognising the increase in consumer demand for more ethical and sustainable products – a revolution that is taking social media by storm. For instance, NARS cosmetics recently took to Instagram to announce that they wanted to put an end to animal testing, stating: “We want you to know that we hear you. The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen.”

 

Social media has become a platform on which anyone, anywhere can have their say. The likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube not only allow people to criticise but also for businesses to respond to criticism and relaunch their brand as one which satisfies consumer demands.

 

Coca-Cola

Take Coca-Cola for instance, its most recent campaign shows an epic love story between Coke and Fanta; the idea that they are both contained in recyclable plastic bottles means that they are able to meet over and over again, and eventually fall in love (how sweet!). Lucy Barry, a Berlin-based artist, used ALL recyclable materials, including 1,500 bottles, to create the masterpiece. Accompanying the ad is a short YouTube video showing ‘A Timeline Tour’ of change in the production of Coca-Cola bottles.

Coca-Cola has high hopes for its campaign, with a similar piece last year generating around 37,000 pledges.

H&M

Both high street and high end fashion labels have also joined forces to save our planet. As a self-confessed shopaholic and fashion enthusiast, I think it’s great that clothing brands have entered into this craze. Last year, H&M launched its first eco-friendly campaign, collaborating with singer M.I.A to create a song and video called ‘Rewear It’. The campaign secured 500,000 views within a week of being released and, since the launch of its garment collecting initiative in 2013, H&M has acquired over 32,000 tonnes of recyclable clothing.

And H&M aren’t the only ones! Stella McCartney recently chose a landfill site in Scotland as the backdrop for her fall 2017 collection launch. The lead image of the campaign features a model surrounded by a mass of cast-off clothing, accessories and so-called ‘rubbish’. Again, McCartney proves that a great picture/ video never fails when it comes to making your brand stand out.

stella mccartney model in landfill

 

But does it work?

The answer is YES! As an agency, we are no strangers to the process of brand rejuvenation and the promotion of environmental sustainability as a less commercial way of building a relationship with consumers. Back in 2015, we were tasked with launching the UK’s first website dedicated solely to upcycling: Remade in Britain. The company focuses on the restoration of furniture, home accessories and gifts, targeting those who seek, ‘ethical, sustainable, and waste-reducing products’. We even created our own recycling stunt, creating room in a skip using furniture from the site.

Remade in Britain Founder Donna Fenn in the 'Skip Room' - press

Remade in Britain Founder Donna Fenn in the ‘Skip Room’

To read more about this campaign and find out more about what we do, head to http://www.acceleris-mc.com/.

Ey up! It’s Yorkshire Day!

Why today?

Every year, on the 1 August, the people of Yorkshire put on a united front to celebrate their home county. But why today? The first ever ‘Yorkshire Day’ took place on 1 August in 1975, after it had been officially declared the previous year at a meeting of the Yorkshire Ridings Society. According to BBC reporter Carole Green, “every year, on that day, members of the Society read a declaration of the integrity of Yorkshire at each of the four Bars of York” (no, not the drinking kind!).

This year the main event will take place in the South of Yorkshire, as Sheffield’s civic officials take part in a march to Sheffield Cathedral, followed by a parade and a day of festivities. Since we’re celebrating all things Yorkshire, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best PR stunts and activities that took place today.

Yorkshire Day

Yorkshire Day vending machine, Xscape in Castleford

Xscape, the leisure complex in Castleford, has installed its very own Yorkshire-esque vending machine. Forget fruit pastels and fanta, think Yorkshire puddings, tea and flat caps! Brands such as Yorkshire Tea, Yorkshire Water, Seabrook Crisps, Henderson’s Relish, and Aunt Bessie’s have all contributed their Yorkshire-based products in support of today’s event.

 The reopening of Piece Hall

The Piece Hall in Halifax is thought to be one of the few Georgian buildings to showcase the history of Yorkshire’s working people, rather than that of the aristocracy, and it reopens today! From 10am onwards, a multitude of new businesses and shops run by the Piece Hall Trust opened to visitors for the first time, marking the start of a day of fun-filled activities for the public.

Nicky Chance Thompson, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust said:

‘The Piece Hall is a much-loved building here in Halifax and we wanted to welcome local people first, to see for themselves the work that has been undertaken to transform this major piece of our heritage into a stunning part of our future.’

York Maze

York Maze is holding a Yorkshire pudding throwing competition to show their appreciation of ‘God’s Own Country’ (what a waste!), as well as a straw bale race and live music to commemorate our county.

Pubs in Leeds

It has also been reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post that the town of Leeds, will rename all its pubs after celebrities from Yorkshire- that shouldmake the infamous ‘Otley run’ (a bar crawl that runs through Headingly) more interesting! The bars are said to be named after the likes of Alan Bennett, Corinne Bailey-Rae, Dynamo, Nicola Adams, and, of course, Sean Bean.

 

Instagram

And what better way to promote our white rose county than social media? Most notably Instagram and Twitter have been bombarded by a plethora of images posted by the general public, all of which are rejoicing over everything Yorkshire- and of course we’re all using #YorkshireDay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a Yorkshire-based agency, we’ll certainly be enjoying a few cups of Yorkshire Tea to celebrate. To find out more about what we do for our Yorkshire clients (and those further afield) take a look at our case studies: http://www.acceleris-mc.com/.

Hunting For Awards – A Winning Team

The annual Acceleris away day is an opportunity for team-building, improving skillsets and most importantly of all, a healthy dose of competition between colleagues.

This year we embarked upon a Great Yorkshire Treasure Hunt set by our Chairman Nigel. With four teams working through six pages of cryptic clues and directions to take us round the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, it was a race against the (mileage) clock to answer all the questions in the shortest distance.

The winning team, Not Bad Cod Be Batter, pipped Run AMC to the winning post with a mileage difference of just 0.4 and a host of winning selfies.

But it’s not just away days we know about winning. On Friday, we were thrilled to find out we’ve been shortlisted for seven CIPR PRide Awards for the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region and this year we celebrated winning more than 50 awards in our agency lifetime.

Amongst our gongs we count three European Excellence Awards we’ve won in four years for our Issues and Reputation Management work and the three UK Public Sector Agency of the Year Awards as well as CIPR’s pub quiz team of the year, we’re proud of them all!

But why enter Awards? It’s not just because we’re competitive, honest. Being recognised by our industry builds credibility and recognises the creativity of our team and the results we’ve achieved for clients.

We’ve had clients approach us after seeing news of our awards in the papers or on our website, and the Award wall in our Harrogate office never fails to impress visitors.

Acceleris is a boutique agency with some very specialist credentials and campaigns, but we’ve often fought off big corporate contenders to win Awards – last year we beat IBM and Lidl in the Issues and Reputation Management category, plus – believe it or not – the Catholic Church! To be recognised for our creative thinking and campaigns and hold our own against some big players is testament to just how hard we work for our clients.

The CIPR’s PRide Awards celebrate the very best PR campaigns and teams in the region and we’ve got stiff competition across the region.

We’ve been shortlisted in seven categories (out of seven we entered if you must know) for a range of different campaigns, including our work launching disability organisation Purple, promoting greater autism awareness in airports for Experia, celebrating 100 years of maritime charity Seafarers UK and helping manage the reputation of Britain’s seafarers with trade union Nautilus International.

The results will be announced at an awards dinner on 30 November, but to read a bit more about our award-winning campaigns, take a look at our Awards cabinet.

Celebrating a Seafaring Centenary!

Alex Whitaker – Senior Account Executive

Did you know that 95 per cent of Britain’s imports come via the sea? Or that the fishing industry contributes more than €70 billion to the European economy every year? As an island nation, our reliance on the sea cannot be underestimated, yet too often we all take for granted just how many people work in this challenging environment – and just how much they do for the rest of us.

Well, this week sees the return of Seafarers Awareness Week (24 – 30 June), the annual celebration of all things maritime and a reminder of the thousands of people toiling away to keep us stocked up on fish, fuel and all the other goods we rely on!

In its centenary year, Seafarers UK has again organised Seafarers Awareness Week, this time with a focus on promoting UK maritime employment opportunities, including shore based jobs (a quarter of a million jobs in Britain are supported by the maritime sector!)

At Acceleris, Seafarers Awareness Week is always a busy time for our specialist maritime team. This year, we’re working with the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society on their annual open day, with Nautilus International on the recent launch of a report into crew communications at sea and with the Shipwrecked Mariners Society on the launch of their annual photography competition.

Earlier this year, our editorial division, Writers Inc., produced Seafarers UK commemorative anniversary publication which involved delving through the archives, copywriting and project management.

To help celebrate the charity’s 100 years, we’ve put together a 100-strong maritime trivia list! Why not take a look below to see what you already knew… or found out something completely new!

 

  1. How much does the fishing industry contribute to the European economy each year?
    • €71.3 billion
  2. What percentage of Europeans eat fish at least once a week?
    • 70 per cent
  3. Which five species of seafood are most popular with UK consumers, amounting to 70 per cent of all sales?
    • Cod, Haddock, Salmon, Tuna and Prawns
  4. How many kilogrammes of fish do British adults eat every week?
    • 8 million
  5. How much does the shipping industry contribute to the global economy?
    • £327 billion
  6. How many jobs in the UK are supported by the maritime sector?
    • 250,000
  7. How many tonnes of fish do British vessels catch every year?
    • 700,000
  8. How many fishermen are there in the UK?
    • 12,000
  9. Approximately, how many species of fish are there in the world?
    • 27,000
  10. What proportion of Britain’s imports come in via the sea?
    • 95 per cent
  11. Women make up what percentage of worldwide seafarers?
    • 2 per cent
  12. How many bananas could the largest container ship in the world hold?
    • 745 million
  13. Since 1975, the number of British seafarers has fallen by how much?
    • 75 per cent
  14. How many seafarers are employed by the global industry?
    • 5 million
  15. Seafarers from which nation make up one third of all shipworkers?
    • The Philippines
  16. At any one moment, how many containers are at sea?
    • 20 million
  17. How much of international trade does shipping account for?
    • 90 per cent
  18. Whilst at sea, ships occasionally encounter ‘growlers’, what exactly are growlers?
    • Small icebergs (so named because of the nose made as the ship’s hull scrapes past them)
  19. The deepest part of any ocean in the world is an area of the Pacific Ocean with a depth of 36,161 ft., what name is given to this area?
    • Mariana Trench
  20. What species of fish produces the most eggs?
    • Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola)
  21. How many varieties of goldfish are there?
    • Over 100
  22. What is the fastest fish?
    • Sailfish
  23. In the movie, Finding Nemo, what kind of fish is Nemo?
    • Clownfish
  24. What is the largest species of fish?
    • Whale Shark
  25. What is the smallest species of fish?
    • Stout Infantfish
  26. How many teeth can a shark grow during its lifetime?
    • 50,000
  27. How many portions of fish and chips do UK consumers eat every year?
    • 382 million
  28. How many eggs do salmon lay a year?
    • 2000-5000
  29. What was the name of the ship captained by Captain Hook (From Peter Pan)
    • Jolly Roger
  30. Name the ship Christopher Columbus captained on his first voyage to the new world?
    • Santa Maria
  31. Who captained the RMS Titanic?
    • Edward John Smith
  32. Name the ship captained by Ernest Shackleton on his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917
    • Endurance
  33. In which war was the convoy system introduced?
    • World War One
  34. How many ballistic missiles can a Vanguard class carry?
    • 16
  35. Which naval station is responsible for arming all submarines?
    • Coulport
  36. Which Royal Naval base is said to be the largest in Western Europe?
    • Devonport
  37. What is the professional head of the Royal Navy’s’ title?
    • First Sea Lord
  38. Who was in the “Wavy Navy”?
    • Members of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  39. How many ships are in the Royal Navy?
    • 77
  40. When was the Royal Navy founded?
    • 1546
  41. What was the name of the first submarine to surface at the North Pole in 1959?
    • Skate
  42. What is the name of the American submarine that sank itself with its own torpedo in October 1944?
    • Tang
  43. Who invented the first submarine?
    • David Bushnell
  44. What was the first submarine named?
    • Turtle
  45. What do the initials ULCC as a size of tanker stand for?
    • Ultra Large Crude Carrier
  46. What is a common use of a RORO vessel?
    • Car Carrying Ferry
  47. What is a tanker of between 120,000 and 180,000 deadweight tons size called?
    • Suezmax Size
  48. What is the overall term used to describe the different types of rope used on a vessel?
    • Cordage
  49. When facing forwards what is the left side of a ship called?
    • Port
  50. What is navigation by stars called?
    • Celestial navigation
  51. What is the name of the person in charge of mechanical issues aboard a ship?
    • Chief Engineer
  52. If you were in the toilets of a ship, where would you be?
    • Heads
  53. What is the acronym for the electronic positioning system used by seamen?
    • GPS
  54. What do commercial fisherman throw to the sea for good luck while fishing?
    • Canned Food
  55. What day is said to be bad luck for seaman to leave the harbour?
    • Friday
  56. What two words are used to define coordinates?
    • Latitude and longitude
  57. What was the name of the famous ship that sailed in 1620 to North America to establish a new colony?
    • Mayflower
  58. What was the name of the famous ship that hit an iceberg in 1912?
    • Titanic
  59. What type of fish is a skipjack?
    • Tuna
  60. Tinca Tinca is the Latin name for which fish?
    • Tench
  61. What is a young Pilchard called?
    • Sardine
  62. What colour are the spots on plaice?
    • Red/Orange
  63. Alevin and parr are stages in the development of which fish?
    • Salmon
  64. What family does the anchovy belong to?
    • Herring
  65. Where is a fish’s caudal fin?
    • Tail
  66. What are the whiskers on catfish and other bottom dwellers called?
    • Barbels
  67. How many types of catfish are there?
    • Over 2,000
  68. What fish has enough poison to kill 30 people?
    • Puffer Fish
  69. What fish can regrow body parts?
    • Starfish
  70. Which fish’s home is poisonous to other animals?
    • Clown Anemonefish
  71. Which species is often referred to as a carpet shark?
    • Tasselled Wobbegong
  72. Name a relative of the seahorse?
    • Ornate Ghost Pipefish
  73. Which fish can move overland between waters?
    • Eel
  74. What is a recently hatched fish called?
    • A fry
  75. What is the fastest fish in the ocean?
    • Sailfish
  76. Which fish migrates the furthest?
    • European Eel
  77. How far can flying fish glide in the air?
    • 20 feet or more
  78. Why are fish often covered in slime?
    • Helps them move quickly through water
  79. Are jellyfish and crayfish actually fish?
    • No
  80. How long can a goldfish live in captivity?
    • 30 years or more
  81. What kind of fish is Dory in Finding Nemo?
    • Blue Tang Fish
  82. What percentage of the world’s fish live in freshwater?
    • 40%
  83. Do fish have eyelids?
    • No
  84. Which state in America catches the most fish?
    • Alaska
  85. The red drum is what type of fish?
    • Bottom feeder
  86. Which shark is flat like a stingray?
    • Pacific Angel Shark
  87. What ocean dwelling creature doesn’t have any support for its body but its muscles?
    • Squid
  88. What ocean dwelling create squirts toxic ink?
    • Cuttlefish
  89. What type of snapper is the largest?
    • Red Snapper
  90. What fish is known as the silver king?
    • Tarpon
  91. Which body is responsible for issuing recreational fishing licences in England and Wales?
    • Environment Agency
  92. What fish is also known as the Lady of the Stream?
    • Grayling
  93. Which is the most common species of carp in British waters?
    • Mirror
  94. What is a water dwelling insect larva?
    • A Nymph
  95. How are Sewin known as in the UK?
    • Sea Trout
  96. Which fish is also known as the Doctor Fish?
    • Tench
  97. Fishing from a free-drifting boat is what type of fly-fishing method?
    • Loch Style
  98. What proportion of UK seafarers are completely without internet connection?
    • 4 per cent
  99. What proportion of UK seafarers have access to social media at sea?
    • 34 per cent
  100. What proportion of UK seafarers have access to personal emails at sea?
    • 57 per cent

David Bushnell and the world’s first submarine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skipjack or yellowfin tuna?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fastest fish on the planet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found Dory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acceleris is a specialist in award winning communications for maritime industry. Why not take a look at some of our recent work in the sector and see if we can help get your communications afloat?